Generally, superannuation is money set aside for you by your employer while you work, so you have savings when you retire.

In Australia, superannuation is mandatory, and an amount contributed by your employer (usually the equivalent of 9.5% of your wage) is put into a superannuation fund that you choose.

NZRelo has specifically partnered with a super fund that allows KiwiSaver transfers to Australia so that your future Australian earnings will be combined with the amount of KiwiSaver you bring to Australia. Very few super funds allow this transfer and WA Super, who have gone out of their way to assist New Zealanders in this field, showcase a fundamental and vital product for our members.

WA Super offers their members income protection insurance which means your income is properly protected in case of an accident or unexpected illness. New Zealanders living in Australia do not automatically qualify for government assistance or benefits if unable to work, are injured, or become disabled.

Unlike in New Zealand, your compulsory superannuation contribution does not come out of your pay – it is paid on top of your salary or wage from your employer automatically into a super fund. To be eligible to receive your employer contributions you must be working and paid more than $450 (before tax) each month. If you are under 18 (or the work is private or domestic in nature), you must work more than 30 hours a week. Unlike KiwiSaver, you cannot “opt out” of superannuation in Australia. Also, if you don’t choose a super fund when you start your first job in Australia, your employer will open an account on your behalf with their “default” superannuation fund. You also can’t choose to receive your superannuation as a cash payment.

You can make additional voluntary contributions to your Australian super fund while you work in Australia. This may help you have more money put aside for your retirement, either in Australia or in New Zealand, as small additional contributions now) can add up over time.

In Australia, once you reach retirement age (currently 65 years old, or earlier if you have permanently ceased work), you can choose how you would like to receive your super benefits –  either as a lump sum, a regular income payment, or a combination of both. This provides sweet flexibility depending on your lifestyle and personal retirement dream.

What’s the difference between superannuation in New Zealand and Australia?

One of the main differences between Australia and New Zealand is the way in which the word “superannuation” is used.

In Australia, superannuation generally comes from contributions that your employer makes throughout your working life. You are also able to make “voluntary” contributions if you wish to save more for your retirement. The Australian government may also contribute to your superannuation if you satisfy certain criteria.

These funds are “locked” in place until you reach retirement age, and you cannot withdraw them earlier unless you satisfy certain conditions (eg, experience extreme financial hardship or become severely injured or disabled and can no longer work). Under the First Home Super Saver scheme rules super can be used to make a down payment on your first home.

In short, Australian superannuation is similar to a KiwiSaver account, but with slightly different rules. In New Zealand, when you turn 65, you may be eligible for NZ Superannuation – which in Australia would be called a “pension”.

This is a paid promotion by WA Local Government Superannuation Plan Pty Ltd, as Trustee of the WA Local Government Superannuation Plan (WA Super). Other than payment for advertising, no commissions or other fees are payable to NZRelo. Information provided here will change from time to time, is general in nature and not tailored to your personal and financial situation. You should consider if the information is appropriate to you. Before making a decision about WA Super, you should read the Product Disclosure Statement available at www.wasuper.com.au or by contacting the Fund on (08) 9480 3500. All applications must be made and received in Australia. WA Super is the trading name of WA Local Government Superannuation Plan ABN 18 159 499 614 and its Trustee is WA Local Government Superannuation Plan Pty Ltd ABN 64 066 797 162, AFSL 269006.


Page updated 11/02/2020


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